Kristine Gerdtz, facility manager at Japara Kelaston Residential Aged Care in Wendouree, couldn’t be more proud of her new recruit Lee Littlepage. Lee has only been a cook at Kelaston Residential Care for a little over three months and has just been accepted into the Maggie Beer ‘Creating an Appetite For Life’ education program.
Inspired by her father, a cook on a cattle station, Lee has been cooking in the restaurant industry for over thirty years. ‘I grew up watching dad, and loved seeing the passion and creativity behind each meal. It was a no brainer for me to follow in his footsteps’ Lee recalls.
After years of cooking for restaurants and wedding venues, Lee decided it was time for a change. “The types of meals that I have been cooking and presenting over the past three decades are very different to what current aged care residents like eating” she says. Learning to cook for a different generation has been her biggest challenge. “I’ve been doing my research every day to see how I can best cater to their needs, and I can see some easy improvements that can be made to the dining experience of aged care residents.”
Lee has admired Maggie Beer throughout her career, and is excited to have this opportunity to learn from her. The Creating an Appetite For Life education program, now in its second year, selects a limited number of cooks to learn from Maggie Beer herself, as well as other industry professionals.
‘I’m so thrilled to be chosen and can’t wait to take my learnings from the program and implement them at Kelaston Residential Care and the other Japara facilities’’.
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